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September 11, 2001

tenor, piano

September 11, 2001 was impelled by the atrocity of that date.  I had been working on a setting of part of Auden's Anthem for Saint Cecilia’s Day when the horror struck.  The enormity of what had happened caused an involuntary change in my piece:  what I had intended as a 3 or 4 minute song transformed itself into a 9 minute threnody in which phrases of the text took on meanings that for me were far more powerful in the context of that terrible day than they seemed to be within the poem itself.  To some extent, then, I violated the spirit and structure of the underlying poem; but I believed it a necessary course if I were to compose an appropriate memorial.

-Charles Wuorinen, 2002